TGen News & Press Releases : TGen discovers genetic mutation that causes the appearance of premature aging and severe loss of fat in children

Businessman-philanthropist will match donations to first unTEAL A CURE

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Feb. 26, 2010 - Moved by the death of an employee's daughter, prominent international businessman and philanthropist Foster Friess will make a substantial contribution to fund ovarian cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Friess and his wife, Lynn, are prepared to match, up to $50,000, contributions made as part of the first unTEAL A CURE 5K, a run and walk planned March 7 at Tempe's Kiwanis Community Park.

The event already has raised nearly $38,000, eclipsing its initial goal of $25,000.

Foster and Lynn Friess, who split their time between Jackson, Wyo., and Scottsdale, were moved by the death of Taryn Ritchey, a 22-year-old woman who succumbed to ovarian cancer after valiantly fighting the disease in 2007. Taryn's mother, Judy Jost of Cave Creek, works as a personal assistant to Foster Friess.

"We are thrilled that Foster and Lynn Friess have, again, chosen to honor Taryn for her heroic struggle against ovarian cancer. Their gift will have an important impact on the success of the unTEAL A CURE event, and TGen's research into this devastating disease," said Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation.

Also in Taryn's memory, Foster and Lynn Friess in 2007 presented TGen with a gift of $250,000 for ovarian cancer research.

More than 40 family and friends of Taryn, including her stepfather Gary Jost, will be among the more than 500 participants in unTEAL A CURE, named for the color teal associated with ovarian cancer.

And more people are signing up to join the fight.

Taryn's husband, Robert Ritchey, was killed in an automobile accident on July 28, 2008 - one year and two days after Taryn passed away. Robert's family also plans to participate in the unTEAL A CURE 5K.

And, Taryn's boss, Mary Johnson, who developed breast cancer since Taryn's passing, plans to participate in the event with her husband, Steve.

Judy Jost said it is important that women understand some of the telltale signs of ovarian cancer: backaches, constipation, bloated stomach and nausea. It is not detectable through routine Pap smears.

"Taryn's dying wish was to be able to help other young women so they won't have to go through what she went through. We need to raise awareness,'' said Judy Jost, who hopes the unTEAL A CURE event will continue next year.

Foster Friess, one of America's most successful investors over the past half-century, has made substantial contributions to emergency relieve and other causes worldwide, including a substantial commitment to help victims of January's earthquake in Haiti.

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Details

What: unTEAL A CURE 5K
Where: North end of Tempe's Kiwanis Community Park. Enter off Baseline Road at Ash Avenue, between Kyrene Road and Mill Avenue.
When: March 7. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m.; events start at 8:30 a.m.
Why: Raise funds for TGen's ovarian cancer research.
How: Registration fees are: $30 for ages 13 and up; $10 for ages 5-12; children under 5 are free.
To register, please go to: www.helptgen.org.
More information: Contact Michele Avery at 602-625-3857 or [email protected]

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About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
[email protected]

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